Many years ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a metropolis called Hollywood hunkered down to stand up and man-up for its native land. Instead of marketing political correctness, Hollywood's residents put their lives on the line for grassroots notions called individualism, capitalism and freedom. A port called Pearl Harbor transformed the make-believers into freedom-fighters.
Hamilton Field near San Francisco on Dec. 6, 1941, at 0900: Thirteen B-17s take off at 15-minute intervals for a 15-hour flight to Pearl Harbor. The crossing was long and boring.
The Greatest Generation lost another great member this week with the passing of Newborn's mayor, Roger Sheridan. He was my friend.
Adopted at age 5 by a couple who owned a nursing home in Mount Vernon, N.Y., Wilsonia "Soni" Browne enjoyed entertaining and singing for the residents. Before her 12th birthday, the family moved to Miami, Fla.
We were on alert, the midnight sky charcoal black, odd noises coming from the distant jungle beyond the perimeter. My vision battled reality vs. apparitions in black pajamas. I was ready to kill, not so much an enemy, but the aggressive mosquitoes attempting to construct a housing project inside my left ear. I dared not slap or even curse my ear tenants for fear of exposing my so-called fighting position.
Confident in dialogue and conduct, James Johnson Jr. echoes his 22-year career in the United States Army.
I recently attended a monthly luncheon sponsored by the Atlanta World War II Round Table at Petite Au Berge Restaurant. About 150 folks were in attendance, mostly World War II veterans and their spouses. It was an honor to break bread with these men and women.
During his 1865 inaugural address, President Abraham Lincoln memorably appealed for good treatment of veterans: "to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan."
He is probably the most recognized veteran in the state of Georgia. His accomplishments and awards would fill a newspaper. One hundred or more hours is a typical workweek.
As I reviewed Covington native Jimmy Cronan's personal Vietnam War journal, I realized the best way to articulate his story was to let Jimmy tell his story of war and survival, as it happened, in his own words. The following is an edited, abbreviated narrative of his combat diary.
Oct. 24, 1921: In the city hall of Chalons-en-Champagne, France, U.S. Army Sgt. Edward F. Younger, a highly decorated veteran of The Great War (World War I), is assigned to select only one of four caskets recently exhumed from four dissimilar American cemeteries in France. Each casket contains the unidentified remains of an American soldier. After thoughtful consideration, Sgt. Younger places a spray of white roses on one of the caskets.
Courage and coordination are just two of many qualifying attributes for commanding a World War II B-17 Flying Fortress and B-25 Mitchell. To reach that level requires successful training in flimsy Piper Cubs, PT-17 Stearmans, and shake-your-teeth-out Vultee BT-13s.
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Unusually tall, handsome and impeccably dressed with a perfect command of the English language, the Japanese officer attempted to hoodwink the captured B-29 crew saying, "I am also an American. I was in Japan visiting my parents when war broke out, so I was pressed into service with the Japanese. I am with you 100 percent. I am a graduate of UCLA and I will take care of you. I will ...
The Greatest Generation has often described World War II as a romantic era in the midst of worldwide misery. Along with the suffering and carnage, the timeless spark called love refused the grasp of universal hate. The bombers and the bayonets lost; the birds and the bees won. After the bombs came the babies.
I was asked to 'pick out' a few favorite stories for Veterans Day. Folks, that is a difficult task. I've had the privilege of interviewing more than 200 veterans and I favor all of them. I have a soft spot in my heart for The Greatest Generation. Resilient, patriotic, and frugal, they saved democracy. Their casualties proved horrific, yet they marched into battle time and time again. We, their offspring, had our own war - ...
Australian troops in Vietnam referred to the weapon as the "Wombat Gun." The American boys, most likely movie alumni of Walt Disney's "Bambi," nicknamed the weapon "Thumper" for making much the same hollow sound as the cute fictional rabbit thumping the ground with its left hind foot. Other nicknames included Thump-Gun, Bloop Tube and Blooper. Regardless of nickname, the soldiers who carrier the single-shot, break-action, shoulder-fired M79 grenade launcher were all called Grenadiers.
Read the first part of this story online here.
It's been an extraordinary journey for an Alabama boy to become the oldest active member of Mansfield United Methodist Church. Covington resident Frank Harris was born into the tiny farming community of Jamison, Ala. in 1923. His railroading father eventually moved the family to Birmingham where Harris attended school until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor during his senior year. A Golden Gloves boxing champion, tough and ready to fight, he wanted to join the Marines, ...
The 173rd Airborne Brigade was established in 1917 as an infantry brigade before serving in France during World War I. Redesignated in 1942 as the 87th Recon Troop, the 173rd fought in three European campaigns. Inactivated in 1951, it was reactivated in March 1963 and allotted to the regular Army on Okinawa as the 173rd Airborne Brigade, a quick reaction force. Extensive training in mass parachute jumps earned them the nickname "Tien Bien" meaning "Sky Soldiers."
During World War II the British media grumbled, "The trouble with Yanks is that they're over-paid, over-sexed, and over here." One good turn deserves another. British pilots trained in America but unlike their American counterparts, they were under-paid, welcomed here, and not criticized for what comes naturally - not too often, anyway.
On Sept. 24, 1970, Bobby Gayton stopped drinking and gave his life to Christ. He's been preaching ever since, and our country should be grateful he wasn't required to give his life in Vietnam.
Roy Benavidez was born in 1935 near Cuero, Texas to poverty-stricken sharecroppers of Mexican and Yaqui Indian ancestry. Both parents died of tuberculosis before his eighth birthday. He and his younger brother Roger, along with eight cousins, were raised by their grandfather, an aunt and uncle, in El Campo.
Born in Macon, Covington resident Eurey Hooper grew up in Byron, and joined the Army reserves at 18 years old.
As the banking industry receives the brunt of criticism for unpopular government bailouts, reckless lending practices, and has been the favorite target of politicians, apparently Bank of America is at least trying to improve its image.
Doug Hinton's kinfolk settled in Rockdale County in the 1800s. His parents and grandparents rest in peace at Green Meadows; a great-uncle killed on Iwo Jima and his great-grand parents are interred at Eastview, and his Civil War relatives rest in peace at Smyrna Presbyterian Camp Ground. His new bride Cindy, was born and raised in Yankeetown, Fla. Go figure. A 1985 graduate of Heritage High School, Hinton received an appointment to the Merchant Marine ...
One of the most spirited and self-sacrificing veteran support groups wears leather vests and chaps, helmets, riding or after-riding boots, and the ladies might don an assortment of riding beads. They are known as the American Legion Riders.
Continued from last Wednesday's, Aug. 22 edition "From Ga. Tech to bombing Germany." SEPT. 6, 1943 The B-17 had been shot to pieces by German fighters after a disastrous bombing run on Stuttgart. Not a single bomb from 338 Flying Fortresses had hit the target; at least 45 bombers had been lost, and the surviving B-17s were fighting for their lives. Already at dangerously low altitude with fighters in hot pursuit, pilot Jim Armstrong gave ...